An Encouraging Word · Emma Coats · NaNoWriMo · Pixar Inspiration · Productivity Tips · The Writing Life

Got NaNo Writer’s Block? Welcome to the club!

I signed up for NaNo out of desperation. Yes, many of my writing friends were doing it, but for me it was a matter of survival. (I would say it was "write-or-die," but having almost done that this last spring, I kind of can't use the expression anymore.) I have no time, no time for… Continue reading Got NaNo Writer’s Block? Welcome to the club!

35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Hand Wringing · Productivity Tips · Teaching's in my DNA · Words to Live By

Day 31: Do as I say…

Ah, the joys of teaching! I am a font of advice for students, particularly middle schoolers. About work and life and everything. As I up my writing game from hobbyist to professional, I'm thinking I should "do as I say." Because some of my advice isn't half bad! Former students will tell you that these… Continue reading Day 31: Do as I say…

35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Baby Steps · Book Production Stuff · Darcy By Any Other Name · Productivity Tips · Write Already!

Day 16: Sometimes even coffee can’t help!

The most challenging part of my book process is also the most basic: the writing of it. Words from my creative mind to the page--yeah, that's the hardest. It all comes down to time, and to produce a book I cannot rely on summer breaks only. I must write during the school year. It's either… Continue reading Day 16: Sometimes even coffee can’t help!

35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Mercy's Embrace novels · Productivity Tips · Writing Helps

Day 11: Search and Research

How did I learn what I needed to know to write Mercy's Embrace?  Easy. I read old books. I've been doing that since I was ten, and I've absorbed a lot over the years. (So my bachelor's degree is in history, who cares? I have learned far more from reading.) And then there's Google, my… Continue reading Day 11: Search and Research

35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Darcy By Any Other Name · Productivity Tips · Shawn Coyne · The Story Grid · Writing Helps

Day 10: Meet the Pantsing Plotter

My process for outlining a book involves both planning it and winging it. "I'm doing the next book more efficiently," I tell myself every time. The next book, not this one--which resembles a happy tangle moving over the landscape. You know, like a tumbleweed? Uh-huh. Index cards? Post-it notes? The Gingko App? I like the… Continue reading Day 10: Meet the Pantsing Plotter

35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Productivity Tips · The Writing Life · Write Already!

Day 7: The Slough of Writerly Despond

Writer's block happens. One day I will be zipping along, with ideas and words flowing. And on the next it's like I'm Christian in the Slough of Despond, mired in the mud and stuck. What? Sometimes the cause is a life block. There isn't much you can do when you are overwhelmed by sickness (as… Continue reading Day 7: The Slough of Writerly Despond

35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Productivity Tips · The Writing Life

Day 6: My writing process

So you want to know about my writing process? Today's prompt says that you do. So here goes. I am a rewriter. This sorry truth means that I must rework everything I write. Everything! Emails, Facebook posts, chapters in my novel, and most certainly this blog article. Because I do this, it takes a long… Continue reading Day 6: My writing process

Life Hacks · Productivity Tips · Sons

Lessons From My Sons

On the work front, it's been a banner week for my boys. One was promoted into supervisory training, one was assigned to help manage operations for a major store remodel, and one was accepted into his first choice for graduate school. Am I a proud mom or what? Still, I have learned a lot by… Continue reading Lessons From My Sons

Artistic Cross-Training · Mike White · Productivity Tips · The Writing Life · Video

Hooray for “Creative Procrastination”!

What's not to love? In this four-minute video, screenwriter Mike White (School of Rock, Nacho Libre) gives you permission to "live and breathe" your writing project, using cycles of work and "creative procrastination." Don't miss his yoga session with an apple fritter (or is it a burger?) in hand. This is my idea of multitasking!

An Encouraging Word · Book Production Stuff · J.R.R. Tolkien · Kristen Lamb · Looking Ahead · Productivity Tips · The Writing Life

Mapping it, more or less

In the journey toward my book release, I feel like a cat chasing his tail. Round and round I go. First this, then that. Crank out another chapter, then tighten up the outline with the changes. Pesky story elements keep popping up like weasels. Events that I foreshadowed in earlier chapters and forgot about. I… Continue reading Mapping it, more or less